Productive Teams Have A Team Charter

Hello Chasers,

Having a productive team of people will greatly increase your business success and longevity.

And for teams to be successful, they need to have a basic understanding of why they exist, where they fit, and how they’ll accomplish their objectives – in other words what’s the greater purpose you are all working to achieve?

Have you ever been part of a team only to find it was a waste of your time? 

Or been appointed “team leader” but had no idea where to start? 

Or found yourself on a team that’s floundering or falling apart, unable to work together?

If so, it’s time to get back to basics.

And one of the best things you can do is take the time to create a team charter, or a document that defines your team’s overall objectives, resources, and boundaries. 

A team charter serves as a roadmap to guide and be a reference point for your team and are typically created in a group setting, with team leaders facilitating discussions and walking through key questions to define several important elements like the team’s purpose, context, goals, roles, and operating methods. 

Ideally, you could hold an off-site retreat for your team and set aside some time for team building and some time to establish your team charter. To try the team charter off-site, everyone on the team should head to a place out of the office and spend half the time away doing a non-work activity together (hiking, eating, etc.), and the rest of your time constructing a team charter. At the end of the day, capture the team’s identity in a fun and memorable way. Create a short video that tells your team’s story or a Pinterest-style board that represents what the group is all about.

At Ceebeks, we hold one of these at the end of a quarter, away from the office in a different location so that we are completely free of the work environment and to stimulate creativity and free thinking.

If scheduling a team retreat won’t work for your business, it’s still important to set aside a large block of time for the team to work together on creating your team charter. During your planning session, you or another team leader should walk members through key questions, visually capturing responses on a flip chart (if you’re meeting in person) or via a shared online collaboration tool (if you’re meeting virtually).

The basic components of a team charter include:

  • Team Purpose
  • Team Goals
  • Team Roles
  • Team Work Processes
  • Team Decision-Making
  • Team Standards or Norms

We will be exploring how these components fit into the team charter in future blog posts

Once our team charter was created, our team has periodically referred to the document to help them meet our agreed-upon objectives, thus leading to greater cohesion and productivity.

So, if your team seem to be doing things randomly, without direction and wasting time consider having a meeting to discuss how to gain clarity and a sharper focus on the business objectives by creating a team charter.

Have a great day!

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